Bridge Fishing Desert

7 Tips for a Great Shed Placement

Many of you have heard the one about the DOT that built a bridge in the middle of the desert, with no roads leading to or from it. When they figured out what they had done, they rushed out to remove the evidence–but someone else had found it already, and was sitting fishing on it. The good news is, shed placement is easier and less costly than figuring out where to spend your tax dollars on bridges. Here are 7 tips on shed placement.

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Drawing credit goes to Shandon Mullet.

Shed Placement Tips

  1. Accessibility. What is your shed for? If it’s primarily a garden shed…keep it close to the garden. (But don’t put it where it will block 3 hours of valuable sunlight.) If your shed houses your snow blower, you probably don’t want to have to tromp across the back yard through the snow, and then blow clear a path all the way back to the house—all before you’ve started clearing your sidewalk and driveway.
  2. Aesthetics. The threat of snow may be less of a concern to you than the beauty of your backyard. Some people want their building to blend into the surroundings, and be unnoticed. Others want the building as part of the outdoor décor, and want it to be seen. Either is fine, but it may affect where you place your shed.
  3. Setback. The distance between your structure and your property line is called setback. You probably don’t want to create a scene with either your neighbor or the local building inspector, so be sure to leave enough room between your shed and your neighbor’s yard. If there is any question, check with your HOA, or your local county/city offices. With that, make sure you leave enough room for your mower to get between the shed and the fence–even after you upgrade to the MegaMower that you’ve been eyeing.
  4. Longevity. Your shed will last longer if it is in a spot that is not perpetually wet, or on the receiving end of your neighborhood watershed. Low tree branches can scrape the sides or roof in winds, putting wear on the shed’s paint or roof. If you have a sprinkler system, remember that regular watering will not have the same effect on your shed as it does on your grass.
  5. Level. Many creative steps can be taken to set a building on slopes, but the more level the ground is, the easier and cheaper it is to set a building. (Remember that flat does not equal level. The ground can be flat–without stumps and bumps–but still be on a slope.)
  6. Utilities. A building should not sit on top of buried power lines or other utilities. You can get your utilities marked free of charge with a call to your state’s safe digging hotline—Just dial 811.
  7. Access.  Consider access for delivery. Shed placement can be done by crane, but it’s not the cheapest option. A more economical option, if you can’t get a building into your backyard, is to have it built on-site, but be aware that not all builders offer that option.

Bonus Tips

The next two tips are bonuses to help you fine tune your shed placement.

  1. Doors. Shed design, and the way your shed is turned, really does matter. Doors should be placed where they work well for your use. For example, don’t put the double doors against the fence if you need to drive a mower inside. (Remember that you’ll probably be needing room for a ramp.) Also, your doors should open up to relatively level ground. If they face a downhill slope, the ramp will not work properly.
  2. Parallel. Finally, determine the angle of your shed placement, usually by making it parallel either to the fence or the house. If the fence and the house don’t agree, you’ll have to choose!

A little planning ahead will make sure that you don’t have a bridge to nowhere in your backyard. With these 7 tips for shed placement, you should be well on your way to locating your shed where it will work well for you. If you’re still not sure you’re on the right track, you can request a site visit (yes, they’re still free!).

Much of this information was taken from our FREE Shed Buying Guide. Download it now for 17 pages of valuable information on getting the perfect shed into your backyard.

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